A longtime advocate of U.S. mariners recently made a splash on the international scene.
Mayte Medina of the U.S. Coast Guard was unanimously elected as the committee chair during the first day the 103rd session of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) on May 5. She is the first woman to chair what is considered the IMO’s highest technical body.
According to the Coast Guard, “As the senior technical body within the IMO, the MSC is responsible for all issues related to the protection of life and property at sea. Under Ms. Medina’s leadership and guidance, a number of significant issues were considered and positively advanced during this session, including impacts of COVID-19 on shipping, autonomous ships, piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, and fuel oil safety.”
Medina, a graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, has worked for the Coast Guard since 1997. She is the agency’s chief of the Office of Merchant Mariner Credentialing at Coast Guard headquarters in the nation’s capital.
The agency described her as “an internationally recognized expert on mariner training and certification” who previously served as chair of the IMO’s Human Training and Watchkeeping Subcommittee. “In addition, she has been involved in the development of many other domestic and international maritime safety, security, and environmental protection standards. Well known and highly respected worldwide, her election is well-deserved and highly commended.” SIU Secretary-Treasurer David Heindel, who also serves as chair of the International Transport Workers’ Federation’s Seafarers’ Section, applauded the election.
“Working with Mayte both domestically and internationally over the last 15 years has demonstrated that her dedication and sincere concern for the health and safety of all seafarers is genuine and steadfast,” Heindel stated. “While representing United States interests at the International Maritime Organization and International Labor Organization, she has always been keen to find solutions to the problems confronting mariners. I wish her well in her new role at the IMO, and knowing Mayte will be in the chair of the Maritime Safety Committee gives me confidence that seafarers will receive a fair shake with the issues confronting us today and in the future.”
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim, wrapping up the recent IMO meeting, stated, “In congratulating you all for your contributions to the success of this session, I would like to thank in particular your newly elected Chair, Ms. Mayte Medina of the United States. This has been a very demanding first session for you, Madam Chair, but you have managed very efficiently, diligently and confidently, to achieve consensus in all decisions. It is clear that the Committee took a wise decision in electing such an experienced and determined Chair. Under your able leadership, MSC 103 has concluded successfully.”